Friday Featured Athlete: Mark Clayton and Mark Duper - The Marks Brothers
It's not very often a quarterback as talented as Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino comes along in the NFL. Equally rare is a Hall of Fame level quarterback having two prolific wide receivers to throw to.
But that's a luxury Marino and Dolphins fans enjoyed throughout the 1980s with the "Marks Brothers," Mark Clayton and Mark Duper.
Duper, nicknamed "Super Duper" spent his entire 11-year NFL career with the Dolphins. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection and enjoyed his best seasons in 1984 with 71 catches, 1,306 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns and in 1986 when Duper had 67 catches, 1,313 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Duper had four seasons in which he had over 1,000 receiving yards, with his last one coming at age 32 in 1991.
Outside of his football career, Duper was also a track star. Duper won the 400-meter relay at the 1981 NCAA track and field championships at Northwestern State University, finished seventh in the 200-meter dash and reached the semifinals of the 100-meter dash at the 1980 Olympic trials.
Lining up opposite Duper for the dolphins was Mark Clayton. After being drafted in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft, Clayton quickly became one of Marino's favorite targets. In 1984, Clayton set the record for most touchdown catches in a single season with 18. He was named to five Pro Bowls with his final Pro Bowl nod coming in 1991. Clayton is ranked in the top 50 for receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
In an interesting trivia note, Clayton is one of only three players to catch a touchdown pass from both Marino and Brett Favre. The other two are Keith Jackson and Mark Ingram.
Both Clayton and Duper were inducted into the Miami Dolphins Ring of Honor in 2003.
Original photo credit - Palm Beach Post